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Advantages & Disadvantages of Computer-Based Safety Training

Computer Based Safety Training

Everyone needs training.  Whether it’s to learn the basics in mathematics, first aid, or how to cook.  However, safety training is the flavor of the day, and what we are looking at.

Corporations often will require their employees to take courses in first aid, basic hazard safety and workplace safety.

But how can they organize that with everyone’s busy schedules?  A company can’t just shut its doors for a day whilst everyone sits down in a lecture about safety, can they?

Well that’s where computer-based training comes into play.  Each employee can work in their own time, and the company stays open!

There are advantages and disadvantages to this, naturally.

The advantages

There are many advantages to computer based training.  Time and availability being a huge bonus.  Think about it this way.  If you have an online course-package that the employees can log into, from any location they choose, it will increase accessibility ten-fold!  They can log in from their respective offices, from home, from a coffee shop, even -although unlikely- from their vacation!  Infinite access means infinite possibilities, and -on a side note- as each employee will be working at their own pace, you won’t have a group slowed down by a single person, or others disrupting the group because they’re bored.

Another advantage is money.  If you don’t need to hire a lecturer to come through to explain every point, procedure and paper, it means that money will be saved.  With everyone working online, there’s no need for a lecturer ordinarily, mind you.  With some people, a lecturer or tutor might be needed.  Your money can be better spent installing some safety equipment, rather than spending it on food, lodging and time for the person lecturing and assessing.

The third advantage is that the marking of the assessments will be a lot faster.  With everything being digital, all of the “true/false” and multiple-choice questions will be marked by the computer.  The questions that are longer, such as “Explain in your own words, how you would deal with a person on fire” for example, would be typed in, and because of this, it will be easier for the external assessor -or an internal one, if the company has one- to read and mark.  The faster the assessments are marked, the sooner everyone can get back to work, unless they fail the assessment, of course.

The disadvantages

As with everything in life, there are also disadvantages to this system.  You can’t expect everything to be 100% perfect all the time.  The disadvantages are to do with personality -or lack thereof-, electricity and practical training.

The first disadvantage -and the biggest one- is that there are no people.  Everyone does the work, separately.  If they have a question, either they have to Google it, or they will suffer in silence.  You see, often people learn best when they are told the information face-to-face.  It could be the same words that are written in the e-book, but people will remember spoken words better than written words.  Although it’s not always the case, this does happen fairly often, and so it is a major disadvantage to computer-based training.

The next disadvantage, although more of a minor variety, is still a problem. This problem is rolling blackouts.  Large corporations have petrol and diesel generators installed in their electrical mainframe, but the smaller corporations suffer when there is a rolling blackout.  Why is this a problem?  Well, computers run on electricity, and the computer-based training is on said computers.  So no power, means no training.  The same can be said for ISPs (Internet Service Providers) when they go down.  If the training is internet based -which they often are-, then your company will have problems.

The last point, is practical assessments.  As with everything, practical assessments do take place during safety training.  Although not required per-say, they are advantageous to safety.  If everything is online, then employees will never have practical experience in giving CPR, carrying someone “fireman style” or splinting a leg.

The final word

So in a nutshell, if the training you’re looking for is theoretical, then computer-based safety training is the way to go for you.  If you need to do a first-aid course, then have your employees do all the theoretical work online, and have someone come in for one day to do the practical aspects -as opposed to a 3-5 day course, for example.

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About the author

Kamy Anderson is an online training expert and a product manager. He leads the product vision and strategy of ProProfs Training Maker. Kamy blogs about trends in eLearning, online training, employee training, gamification, LMS, AI, and more. His articles are published in eLearningIndustry, TrainingMag, Training Zone, and Learning Solutions Magazine. You can connect with Kamy on LinkedIn.